Friday, January 30, 2009

A Rainy Friday...

I'm back from NYC. Had a wonderful time with Diana, Lenny & Meri at dinner! It was hard to leave we were having such a nice time... but it was a school night after all. The seminar I taught went well also. On the feedback sheets there were primarily 5's which is the highest you can get on our ranking system, which always makes me happy - especially since I was teaching the seminar to other attorneys in NYC. I even had a partner from a firm give me a personal hand shake and tell me that I did an excellent job. : )

Upon arriving back in Orlando, I discovered that the cold front that was supposed to have moved through the state and been gone by triathlon day only was just arriving. So this morning and last night have been rather rainy. A high for today of 60 which is not bad, but the problem is that the day started at 57. Luckily for my workout it was a swim day anyway, so I was off to the gym. I asked the girls what Mommy does for a living (primarily because I discovered last week on a car ride home that they thought I work at the gym) Ladybug told me that I go to the gym and then I play. But Angelfish remembered our conversation from last week (and last night) and said, "Mommy, you attoney" (which is how she says attorney). So, hopefully it will sink in... too bad I don't get to play for a living. Like everyone else, I have to squeeze it in while I can.

I have to say that while I like my work trips when they are successful, the best part is always returning home and seeing the little faces of my girls and that of my hubby. I enjoyed snuggling and the hugs and kisses, and having the girls insist on sitting on my lap while I try to eat dinner. The smell of their hair and their sweet little smiles and voices. True joy and contentment right there!

The triathlon swiftly approaches... Sunday will be here before I know it. Team in Training kicks off on Saturday morning too. Not to mention the packing, laundry and dishes that need to be done before then! (Plus a full day of work today!) So, I better go... when I get back I'll be an official triathlete! YAY!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Big Apple...

No, not a snack (although I could really go for one since I didn't get to have lunch today)... I am in NYC! Started the morning with a lovely 30 minute bike ride (7 miles almost on the nose), some work, and then headed to the airport.

While in the car I realized, I should have left earlier but since I can drive our minivan like Maria Andretti (that would be the female version of Mario) when there are no children in it and I'm pressed for time, I made a record 25 minute trip to the Orlando airport from our house (including finding a parking spot which was not easy today). And then I had problems getting the kiosk to find my reservation, but at that point I figured I was ok to make my flight and wasn't overly flustered. (And a big thank you again to the Big Guy and St. Joseph for looking out for me!) When it finally found my reservation it told me my flight was now delayed by 1 hour. So, I mosied through security, found a nice spot at my gate and practiced my seminar for tomorrow in my head and watched families ending their vacations at Disney world (they are easy to spot with all of their Disney paraphenalia and the forlorn little looks on the faces).

Our plane finally arrived (delayed due to de-icing issues, which is slightly humourous when you're leaving a place whose high for day was supposed to be 81), and we boarded. No one sat in the row with me... yay! So I spread out and fell asleep while continuing to practice my seminar. Woke up for the peanuts and water and went back to practicing. When we arrived, there was snow on the ground! It really is beautiful to see the city in fresh fallen snow that's not muddied up just yet. The sky is grey but it looks like a thick mist is setting on the city instead of being truly clouds. All in all it's rather pretty and not as cold as I thought it would feel either.

After a bit more practicing for tomorrow, I will be off to dinner with my friends from college (Model UN nerds like me) Diana and Lenny and Lenny's new wife! I'm really looking forward to it as it's been a while since I've seen them - the last time I made it to NYC with work, which I think was 3 1/2 to 4 years ago. Time flies...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Feeling a Little Lost at Sea

I wasn't quite sure how to put a description on what I'm feeling today, but I think lost is the closest I can come to it. And it's all because I'm cutting back on the workout load in preparation for the training and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be thinking or doing for the triathlon on Sunday. It's probably how it's supposed to go... especially since I have a need to be in control of things in my life (or at least believe that I am in control of them).

Yesterday I called the woman in charge of the triathlon at the Sarasota YMCA because I didn't see anything online about packet pick-up, etc. Turns out there is no packet pickup. She said other triathlons do this, but they don't for this one because it's supposed to be laid back. But how can I be laid back if I don't have a map to look at for the route I'm supposed to bike and then run? Not that I'll be the first person in the race, but I'm not fond of the idea of just "following the other guy" or walking an entire 12 mile bike course and then 2 mile run to figure it out beforehand. So that's the first thing that set me moving slightly adrift. Then there was re-reading part of Joe Friel's Your First Triathlon last night before bed... he said to get up 3 hours before my race to eat. First, that would be 4am. Second, I tend to eat after I workout. So, I emailed my Team in Training Coach, and she told me I could wake up 1 1/2 hours before the race and that I had to eat before training and racing and that I had to start for the rest of this week's workouts. Happy about the news but then I wonder about why Joe who is the guru of the sport is telling people to wake up so darn early. Slightly farther adrift I went.

Then the fact that today's workout was so stinking easy I felt like a sloth put me at the end of my tether. The workout (also from Mr. Joe Friel) was a 20 minute swim that consisted of a 100 swim concentrating on form, 4X 25 meters at zone 3 (which was fun) and then swimming 25 m at zone 1 for the rest of the 20 minutes.... which for me was about 15 minutes of the 20 minutes. I felt silly swimming so slowly. I don't even swim that slowly during my warm ups. It was nice to focus on form and to catch myself dropping my wrist/elbow every so often during the swim so I could correct it... I only do that every blue moon, but when I do, I always feel it right away. It was so easy it was almost like I was swimming in a dream state. At one point, the song from "Sleeping Beauty" popped in my head. "I know you, I danced with you once upon a dream.." Not exactly kick butt swim music. (It is one of the girls' favorite shows at the moment - I think they like to say how "the mean lady is being not nice to Prince Phillip and Sleeping Beauty" personally. They both repeat it over and over while watching. My favorite is when Angelfish or Ladybug say that the "mean lady need a time out" or "Prince Phillip give mean lady a time out" as they are wont to do.) I actually was a little bored and had to reign myself in to prevent myself from swimming faster or doing speed drills, etc. Maybe its so you end up revved up for the race... like the calm before the storm?

I kind of like that idea. Like right now I'm calm but the day of the race I'm going to take the swim, the bike and the run by storm. Hurricane Kate. I rather like that, provided that I'm a category 5 and not a category 1 (and I don't really harm anyone, of course). I will have to ponder that... and focus on one thing at a time since this week is a little wild in general. Tomorrow I leave for NYC to teach a CLE for work, Thursday I teach the CLE and then fly back home, Friday I work and pack for our trip to Sarasota, Saturday morning we go to the Team in Training kickoff and then drive to Sarasota and celebrate my Dad's birthday, and then Sunday is race day and then driving home at some point and trying to make a special soon to be 5 year old's birthday party. Yes, I will have to take one day at a time and pull that anchor back in!

Oh, and at least as of yesterday, Ladybug was back on board with potty training. She didn't have one accident all day and slept with underpants on last night (at her insistence) but didn't quite make it all the way through to this morning, but did use the potty this morning and wore underpants to school. Let's hope it sticks! Angelfish was back to wanting her pullups... some day, some day.

Well, for now...Ahoy mateys!

Monday, January 26, 2009

My love for a piece of metal...

Yes, it's definitely official. I've know that this was true, it has been said a few times in this blog, but perhaps not fully declared in its entirety.... I AM IN LOVE WITH MY BIKE. It is not the top of the line in the world of bikes... it's not even a road bike, just a lowly hybrid Trek 3100 (road and mountain bike), but then, I'm no super model or elite athlete either. So, perhaps it is just that we are perfect for one another. It has been weeks since I last rode my bike because the mornings were too cold or I had a swim bike combo that just made no sense to swim at the gym and come home and ride (especially since I start work at 8:30 am each morning). It was almost like meeting an old friend after a long sojourn... a little bit of anxious excitement, a wonder of what if we have nothing to talk about after all this time? But, just like meeting a true friend after awhile, it was like picking up right where we left off. I felt taller on the bike - probably because I wasn't in the position where my right in front of my face was all the gagetry of the stationary bike and because the bike actually fits me. I'm in between settings at the gym and have to go to the lower one for height. The first minute felt odd and then pure bliss took over. 7 miles of lovely riding and a desire to keep biking and only looking at my watch twice in 30 minutes just to gage whether I had time to keep going or did I need to take an alternate route... never once out of boredom. And at the end of the ride as I unclipped from the pedals, a sense that I could have ridden 3 times as long and been perfectly happy. Blissful love for a lovely piece of metal.

If only the potty training front could be as blissful... we'll start with Angelfish as Ladybug's story will take a bit longer. Angelfish is using the potty when she feels like it (which is much of how Angelfish addresses big milestones in development... I think I've mentioned before in my blog that she refused to crawl and hated being on her belly but then one day decided to walk and within a week she was walking without holding on to anything for rather long distances), which amazingly was Saturday when we went to Disney. She would tell me that she needed to pee, we'd go to the bathroom (even waiting in line once or twice) and her pullup would be dry and she'd pee in the potty! Then Sunday she refused to go to the potty, only wanted to wear pullups and announced after the fact that she'd gone. This morning though she went pee on the potty and wanted to wear underpants to school. One of these days she's just going to make her mind up and be fully potty trained. I just hope it's before college.

Ladybug. Yes, our dear Ladybug gets her own paragraph. Saturday she was like rock star for the large part of the day... she wore the same pair of underpants without accident if you told her to go, she'd go. If she had to go, she told you and went. And then. She was not listening and running like a mad thing in the crowd at Disney. We told her if she did it once more we were going home. She did, and we were leaving. Ladybug completely had a melt down from Cinderella's castle all the way back to the entrance to the park. (We apologize to all those who had to endure her crying on the Monorail ride back to the entrance.) Screaming "I don't want to go home!" and wailing... she may have actually gnashed her teeth once or twice too. We get out and Mr. Darcy takes Ladybug and I take Angelfish to the bathrooms. Angelfish does awesome and empties her entire bladder into the potty. Ladybug too empties her bladder, but not into the potty. She started to pee a little on Mr. Darcy. He got her to stop and took her to the potty where she refused to go and refused to listen. Mr. Darcy scolded her for not listening and she got even more upset and peed all over his pants, all over her pants and socks, and all over the bathroom floor. Being a good Dad, he merely cleaned her up, cleaned up the bathroom floor, and did his best to clean himself up. He put her in new clothes and then refused to talk about the experience for several hours other than to say "she peed on me and I don't want to talk about it." But this morning, she was a champ. Marched in, peed on the potty and excitedly put on her Snow White underpants. (Oh, we met Snow White at Disney Saturday... so they were even more exciting now that they know one another!)

After our adventures at Disney, Mr. Darcy and I went on a date while the girls played with the babysitter. We had a good quantity of beer. It was necessary. And then we tried to bowl... I say tried to because when we found out that we would have to wait 1 hour and pay $45 plus shoe rentals for 1 hour of bowling, we went to see if there was anything playing at the movies. There was, but not until around 10 pm and we were tired enough that we'd simply fall asleep if we waited that long. So, we ate ice cream and went home. Wild and exciting times! But, it was nice to have some peace and quiet for a few hours and be able to chat!

Oh, and Saturday morning, the workout went well... 500 swim, 11 mile bike, and 10 minute run/walk. At the end I felt I could definitely do more, so things are looking up for this weekend's sprint triathlon... my first! YAY! My new triathlon bag arrived Friday afternoon and it was heavenly to use at the gym. Not sure that it can hold all it boasts it can, but we'll find out on Sunday! The"big day" is on Sunday, this week's workouts will be lighter than normal, but I hope to be able to officially call myself a "triathlete" on my personal "Superbowl Sunday!"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Feeling Peppy

So yesterday I got up the nerve to ask my dentist for a donation for Team in Training/The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and was told to email him the request etc. I haven't heard anything back yet, but I am emboldened. If he says no, he says no. There are worse things than being told no. With this new boldness, I am going to ask the place I get my hair done for a donation today as well. I plan to bring in a letter with me when I go. In fact, I may get down right embarrassing for Mr. Darcy because I'm going to print a bunch of letters so that every store we shop in for the next month or so I can ask for a donation. In case there are readers out there that I haven't hit up for a donation for THe Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, here's the deal. One of my best friends died in December of sarcoma and now I am doing an international length triathlon in her memory to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for cancer research. If you'd like to donate, you may donate securely online at: You will receive an email confirmation of your donation (which is tax deductible), and I will be notified of your donation as well (thereby triggering me to write you a handwritten thank you note as I do not believe in email thank you notes).

Now back to the usual... potty training first this morning. It has been a frustrating week with the potty training. Ladybug did awesome this weekend. Saturday, no accidents. Sunday, one accident. Then a refusal all week to wear underpants or go to the bathroom in the potty at home... until this morning. She insisted on wearing blue underpants, in exchange she agreed to go pee pee in the potty... and pee she did! YAY! Let's hope that she continues to pee in the potty today. Angelfish also went pee in the potty this morning, but then refused to wear underpants. She asked me last night if I wear pullups too, and I told her no, Mommy wears underpants. Then Angelfish asked Daddy, and he said "no, I wear big boy underpants." To which she responded in a falsely low voice, "You BIG daddy!" It cracked us up. I am praying for potty training completion by the time they are 3, but I know that they will do it on their own time frame not mine (but I like mine better...)

This morning was a nice morning... the girls both woke up in good moods, which was delightful after Ladybug was a super terror yesterday morning telling both Daddy and Mommy she didn't want them and to go away while SCREAMING at the top of her lungs that she wanted to wear a dress and she didn't care if it was cold. This morning, she woke up and pretended to cook, salt and pepper her Little People Farmer. She cracked us up saying "I going to cut this little man and put salt and pepper on him." I got her to go potty by telling her that he'd be tastier if she let him marinate. : ) Then it was off to the gym (another place that I need to hit up for a donation), and a 20 minute bike followed by a 25 minute swim. 20 minute bike was just under 5 miles but I had to put the resistance level at 6 to get into zone 3 heart rate, so I probably could have gone a little bit farther. And the pool was good, I primarily worked on form while zone 3 swimming and swam 1000m, so more than 1/2 mile, but less than 3/4 of a mile. I really enjoyed the swim... it was invigorating and peaceful. I think it's something about how I breathe when I swim and the tempo of it all, not to mention the nice lapping of the water as I go... today it was a bit entrancing so that getting to the wall seemed like an interference. Whatever it was, I almost felt like the stress of the past few weeks melted away a bit... let's hope it stays that way!

Tomorrow is a tri-brick. 100 m warm up and 400 m swim, followed by a 50 minute bike, and a 10 minute run (well, walk run... I'm still babying these never ending shin splints). While these workouts like this are hard, I must say that I love them. There's something about finishing them that makes me happy... tired, but happy. And the plan is that after I get back from working out, we're going to head to Disney for the day (provided the girls keep being good listeners today and this evening), and then Mr. Darcy and I are going on a date after dinner with the girls. We're wild and crazy and plan to go bowling. Look out, Orlando! HA!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Phone Calls to the New President and More Training

So the night of inauguration day, Mr. Darcy kept trying to show the girls "our new President, Barack Obama" every time his picture showed up on the news. And after the news was over, we went to play "in the kitchen" (which was really the girls' toy kitchen). And as we were playing, Ladybug picked up the toy phone and this was what she said...

"hello? Oh, Hi Barack Obama!"
"What? Yes. I'm making pot pie and I have 3 eggs."
"Yes, you can have some my pot pie, Barack Obama!"
"Well, I don't know. I just have this, Barack Obama!"
(Long Pause)
"Ok. That's ok with me. You go to sleep now, Barack Obama, ok?"
2 1/2 and Ladybug's already making pot pie and talking to the President of the United States! I'm somewhat surprised she didn't ask about Mickey Mouse!

As for training, yesterday I swam a glorious mile. It was awesome. I wasn't having a real "tear it up day" but I was cutting through the water really nicely and my form was good. I broke it up so it wasn't straight, but then I only rest about 1 minute between each set anyway. I did a 100 warm up, 300 drill, 400 swim, 400 swim, 300 drill and 100 cool down. I love the pool. Swimming is so tranquil... even when trying to swim fast!

Today, it was around 24 degrees when I got up, so I opted to go to the gym for my workout. I did 25 minutes on the stationary bike (please warm up so I can ride my bike! I miss my bike!) and did 8 miles, and then went to the treadmill and did 20 minutes... only 1.3 miles in that time, but I am still trying to be nice to my legs so I'll be able to run the 2 miles in the triathlon next sunday... yes, my sprint triathlon (not the Team in Training one) is next Sunday. Woo Hoo! I'm excited and nervous all at once. I think my left leg is almost over the shin splints but now my right leg is being a little funny but it's not shin splints... it's more near my achilles tendon, but not the tendon, just the muscle around it down toward my foot. I'm hoping to find time to go to the chiropractor and see if that helps it all out.

Anywho. Old lady aches and pains aside, it was a good workout and I'm looking forward to hitting the pool and the bike again tomorrow morning! Pot Pie for everyone - especially Barack Obama!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Weekend Adventures

I know this post is a bit out of order, but I realized I didn't say anything about the weekend in my last post after promising to tell of anything funny from the weekend in the previous post. So, here goes.

Saturday was a bit of a blur, really. I went to the gym and did my timed 400 m swim, 50 minute bike (11.5 miles go me!), and 20 minute run/walk, and then lots of stretching. Then I hit Target because, we needed a few items and one of those items was the birthday present for Holland's birthday party. Then lunch, an attempt at getting our children to nap that was wholly unsuccessful but that did result in them at least laying in their beds for a little bit - even if they were talking to one another most of the time and we found them hanging out in their room chatting it up when it was time to "get up." Then a wild dash at getting them dressed with Mr. Darcy and I switching roles... he was super stressed about our being late, and I thought we'd get there just fine what was a few minutes late?

The party was fun, but pretty funny too. It was a mini bowling party. There were small balls that were hard like bowling balls and then bowling pins and bumpers so the balls couldn't go in the gutters. The kids who were there were between the ages of 3 and 5. No one could bowl, and you would hear a horrible denting sort of sound everytime another child chucked the ball as hard as he or she could at the floor. Over and over and over. The older kids could knock down a pin or two somewhat consistently, the younger ones only when they got lucky. And yet, they LOVED it! They tried over and over and over to bowl. Angelfish only wanted to bowl with the turquoise ball, but would break her self imposed color selection for the pink when she really couldn't take it anymore. Ladybug on the other hand just wanted to grab the next ball that arrived and go again - even if the pins hadn't had time to reset yet. So, it was a bit of an adventure keeping control of the situation and also imposing the "you must let other children have a turn too"... but the entire thing was a hoot and we had a ton of fun with the girls and in talking to Holland's Mom and to Channing's Dad too.

Angelfish and Channing shared nuggets and fries very nicely, and now I think Angelfish has Channing's cold too. It's hard to figure out how to stop a child from sharing something when you don't want them to get sick but yet you can't quite explain to them why this is the one time they shouldn't share something with someone. Hopefully the cold will be short lived.

Mom and Dad also liked the party location... it had real bowling lanes and a pub at the back. We may just have to have one of our date nights there some time. : )

Sunday... hmm. Oh yes. I guess I had blocked it out of my mind for a minute there. We went to a church that we liked, but have reservations about merely because well, there are no other children in the congregation except for one or two that are not close in age to our girls. So, we'll try another next weekend. After church we went to Dillards so Mr. Darcy could exchange some shirts and ties he got at Christmas... the girls had been angels in church, but were hellions in the store. Time outs were given and even a spanking had to be resorted to at one point. But what can you expect from 2 1/2 year olds stuck in the men's department at a store for 3 (yes, 3 hours) while their Dad tried to figure out whether he wanted pants, a blazer, shirts, ties, or what. After finally settling on 3 pairs of dress pants, a dress shirt, 2 ties, and a thing of tie cleaner, we left the mall. I could almost hear Mendelsson's "Hallelujah Chorus" in my head as we left (or was that the sales people singing... I really can't be sure.). Then we got some ice cream because well, I needed some sort of treat after enduring all that. Once we got home, we watch some extreme sports on tv that looked like fun to try and then did some grocery shopping followed by breakfast for dinner. I also went for a drink with my friend Jen and had a wonderful time chatting.

MLK day, I drove over to Sarasota and spent it with my Dad. We hadn't had a father daughter day since I got married, so it was a nice change of pace. Mr. Darcy had to work so the girls went to school and I drove on over. It's not a bad drive and the day was beautiful. We had a nice day - we chatted with my mom on her lunch break from work, went to see my Grammy, had lunch, went to some bookstores, and chatted while sitting in the sun in the front yard of my parents house. Then I drove home and spent the evening with Mr. Darcy and the munchkins. Unfortunately, Ladybug had decided she was mad at me for some reason and told me, "I don't care about you." Yes, direct quote. It made me cry. But Angelfish at least came over and told me she loved me! Ladybug wanted nothing to do with me last night, but this morning she wanted to go to the gym and work out with me. : ) She gave me lots of kisses too. So, I guess she got over whatever it was...

And that is our weekend in a nutshell. Cliff notes style... but no quiz later!

A Swim on Inauguration Day

So I started my morning with a nice 1 mile swim. I did not swim it straight today, but broke it up as a 100 m warm up, a 300 drill (50 swim, 50 kick, 100 pull, 100 swim), a 400 freestyle swim, a 400 that I swam continuously but did a 100 free, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke (and hit the wall with my arms on 2 of the ends of a lap... ouch! They need flags up... I think I was counting from the wrong beam on those laps...), and another 100 free. Then I did the 300 drill again, and then a 100 cool down.

Then I wandered home and as my mind wandered, I wondered if Barack Obama's parents or grandparents at any point in time when he was a child ever imagined that he would be sworn in as our nation's 44th president and the 1st African-American president at that. Was there ever a glint of something that they knew (other than that parental gushing that happens) that he would be something amazing? I catch myself wondering from time to time what my girls will "be" when they're older. Doctor? Artist? President? Author? Gypsy Queen? Amanda and Megan have so much promise and can be so much, but what lies in store? I decided that I will just have to wait and see really...

And in another sense I was waiting to see this morning too. I wanted to wait to see what the Inauguration would be like, and I was not disappointed. There was such excitement, like none I've ever known, about a President for what seems like the 1st time. I've heard that there was excitement about President Regan's first inauguration because he too was seen as a man for change. But I can't quite imagine that it was like this. I remember my parents being excited about Regan, but I don't remember much else. I was only 6 the 1st time Regan was elected after all. I have to say that the crowd brought tears to my eyes. In a country where most people "opt out" of voting, to have 1 million of us clamoring to see a President take his oath is something somewhat miraculous. Between the people flooding DC, and the people watching on TV, I wonder if we've finally eclipsed the viewers for "American Idol" with a political event. That in itself is historic. But, even more so is the idea that just yesterday was Dr. King's birthday - the man who was brave enough to dare to share his dream that all people could truly be treated equally (just as our constitution promises) - and then today the 1st African-American President took office. But I hope that President Obama will not be seen as a President just for African-Americans, but that he will be seen as a President for all Americans. His job is not one I envy at the moment. All eyes are on him to turn our country around and to continue to keep us safe, and then he has the added pressure of being the 1st of something. When you're the 1st at something, you have to do an extremely good job at it so that the naysayers have no fuel to say "you see, told you so." That's why I couldn't vote for Palin (other than the political differences she and I have), I couldn't trust her to do a good job as the 1st female Vice President. When you can't remember what newspapers you read one day, and another day come off as intelligent and then follow it up with more air headedness, I don't want you anywhere near being the 1st female Vice President. Anyway. Back to President Obama. I thought his speech was inspiring and I felt like he had a strong sense of where he wants to lead our country at a time when we need someone to lower the anchor so we, as a nation, are not adrift. For once, I felt as though it wasn't just another President taking office that was going to have his own political agenda and heck with what was the best for the country. It felt like the notion of the "old time" politicians who looked out for their constituents, not the special interests. Of course, he has the next 4 years to either prove me right or prove me wrong.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Goodbye Dear Christmas Tree...

Ah, Friday. I hope this weekend will be less stressful than this morning. Mr. Darcy woke up early today to do some work before we got the girls up and somehow the task took longer than he thought and viola we were back to running late again. The girls were perky and cheery though when they got up because well, they got to sleep later than usual and we got them in bed on time last night too. Unfortunately, this meant they wanted to play while getting ready, and we were running so late that Mr. Darcy was coaxing them into eating their breakfast in the cafeteria at school and I had to promise them yogurt to eat when they got to school while they were eating cereal out of a bag after being put in the car. In our defense, it was Kashi Go Lean so they got plenty of protein (not to mention fiber)! I really hate these types of mornings because not only are we running behind, but Mr. Darcy is stressed (he had a meeting this morning that was already stressing him out as of last night) and thus a little short with everyone, which in turn makes me stressed, and the girls wondering why we are so stressed. The good news was though that they were in pretty good moods and were pretty accomodating (other than Angelfish wanting to be chased around the house instead of getting dressed).

So when I finally left for the gym, my stomach was tight and my neck (and emotions) were rather tense. But, I was running so late that I did not get to do all of my workout today. Only the swim... and that was shorter than I had hoped to do today. We take what we can get some days, especially with my inability not to be responsible. I cannot allow myself to be late to work, despite the fact that I worked 2.25 hours of overtime on Monday, 1.25 hours of overtime Tuesday, and 1.25 hours of overtime yesterday I can't seem to let myself be late. It's insane really... or is it just being reliable? And why do I have to be so reliable? It's like it's this thing I can't let go of. I've learned to cut myself a break with many other things in life, but with work it's something I just can't seem to do. I need to run away and join the circus or something... the girls and Mr. Darcy would have to come to though... it wouldn't be very fun without them.

Where was I? Oh yes, the gym. The pool was glorious today. I lapped the only other person swimming in the pool a couple of times. It felt great. And then I started thinking why do I care if I lap this guy who isn't even racing me? And that's when I knew it was that sneaky little competitor that loves the chase. I pretend not to want to win this sprint triathlon, but deep down I want to be that person to come in first... I'm just realistic that while I will do my best, that at this stage in my training it is less likely that I will be the winner. But I will try all the same... and if I have to settle for lapping the guy next to me in the gym pool I'll take that too. : ) I only got to do 3/4 of a mile, but I was pleased with my workout. I did some technique work as part of that otherwise I probably would have gotten in a full mile. But I like the technique work... it helps me pay attention to what I'm doing when I get tired and lets me go faster when I'm tired too. After the technique work I swam 1/2 a mile straight and then 200 m to cool down. I missed the bike portion of the morning, but it would have been on the stationary bike anyway so I might just take a bike ride for fun this weekend.

We're going to our first birthday party for a friend of the girls' from school this Saturday. It should be interesting and hopefully fun. Which reminds me, I need to get the young man a present before then! It's a bowling party (with bumpers and really small bowling balls), so this should be interesting. As it looks like from the pictures that the bowling balls are made of plastic this should be entertaining. Plus, I'm looking forward to meeting some of the other parents aside from the cursory hello or chat that you might have if you happen to pick up the kids at the same time. Of course, I've discovered that I'm referred to as "the mom with the twins" which is an accurate description... I'm just not sure how it's being used. Is it the "how does she handle twins?" or "that lady's crazy?" The truth be told, I dont' know how not to handle twins and I may be a little on the crazier side perhaps from the handling of twins! Tee hee. Anyway... if there's anything fun to report, I'll be sure to share.

Oh, and the title of my blog. I almost forgot. Mr. Darcy forgot to take the Christmas tree to the street last night (we were tired and both have been working alot - and feel blessed to have jobs to complain about working alot this week) and I saw the garbage truck drive by - they hadn't picked up our trash yet so I ran into the living room, unscrewed the tree from the stand (or so I thought) and grabbed the tree and carried it out through the garage through the street. It was surprisingly light actually... of course it's dead as can be (and now a billion pieces since the garbage men picked it up). When I got it to the street, I discovered the stand was still attached... so with 2 minutes to spare, I got the stand off and into the garage before the tree was taken by the garbage man... who made me look weak by picking the darn thing up with one hand! Good bye dear tree, you served us well and withstood the torture of small children pulling on your branches and a dog drinking your water. May you decompose fully in the landfill!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Run Baby Run and Swimming Blind

Alright, so I missed writing yesterday. It was a bit busy and I ran a bit late so I couldn't post before work started, worked through lunch, but left almost on time (15 minutes late) which was better than Monday and Tuesday. Monday I worked until 6:25 and Tuesday until 5:45, which is not good when you get off at 4:30 pm. But anyway.

Yesterday was a 30 minutes run that you were supposed to do your best with so you could see how far you could go in 30 minutes. But, my left leg is still giving me troubles so I did 30 minutes but I walked the 1st 5, alternated 3 min running and 1 walking, and then walked the last 5 minutes. Even doing that, I was able to do 2.68 miles in the 30 minutes. So that was encouraging!

Today was an interesting workout. It did a half hour on the stationary bike doing a hill program for 1/2 an hour and was able to bike 11.5 miles in that 1/2 hour. Whoo hoo! Right after that I went to do my swim, and here's the interesting part - I had to do it without my goggles and swim cap because I accidentally left them at home. I tried at first to swim with my eyes open under water but it hurt and my contacts didn't feel so great. So then I swam with my eyes closed and opened them at certain intervals when I breathed and discovered how hard it is to stay in a straight line while swimming with my eyes closed. I have no problems doing it when I wear my goggles, but I was bumping into lane ropes and everything! Swimmers who are blind are amazing to be able to do that. So, due to time constraints and goggle issues (not to mention the fact that my hair was making me crazy getting on my face, etc.) I only swam 1/2 a mile today. But I have big plans for tomorrow - I plan to swim at least 1 mile, possibly straight, and may even shoot for 1.5 miles in the pool and then a 15-20 minute bike ride.

It all depends on how long it takes Ladybug to get dressed in the morning. Today she was at least pleasant (for the most part), but she was a bit of a doozy. She insisted on eating her yogurt before going to the bathroom and getting dressed, and despite the fact that yesterday she did awesome with potty training (same pair of pants and underpants the entire day, including us going out to dinner at Fridays, and then playing at home before bed) at first insisted that she wanted to wear a pullup - until I guess I called her bluff and went to get one and then she decided that she would wear underpants and agreed to go potty. After she went potty, she was dancing around and I had to cajole her into getting dressed (although she was pretty cute singing and dancing around, I must say). Then when Mr. Darcy put on her jacket she insisted that he "no zip me up!" (It was 41 this morning and people are freaking out about how cold it is. The high will be 63 today, 57 tomorrow, and 61 on Saturday and tonight it will get down to around 32-34 and people are acting like it's the newest onset of the ice age around here. I'm tempted to go to Publix just to see if there's been a run on bread and milk...)

Angelfish on the other hand was Miss Happy. She wanted kisses from Mommy and then from Daddy and then came back to Mommy. She decided she didn't want to have much to do with the potty this morning and asked to wear a pullup, so that's what we did with her. Got her dressed, she picked out her yogurt, ate it, played with the toy laptop, and other than refusing to give me a kiss goodbye (but she said goodbye... she didn't want me to leave for the gym was the reason for the denial of a kiss) was in high spirits. Even when I was talking to her about using the potty, the child was watching herself make faces in the mirror as she talked to me. She was a hoot too... using this low "grumpy" voice and then this high sweet voice and then her regular nice voice with the different faces. If that child doesn't become an actress, I'll be surprised. She loves make believe, singing, dancing and wants to know why people/animals in stories do things the way they do.

Of course last night at dinner, they were talking about when they get bigger they were going to do x & y. So I asked Angelfish if she was going to be an artist when she grew up. Answer was no. "Palentologist?" "No" "Doctor?" and she said "Yes! Mommy, does your head hurt? do your shoulders hurt? Do your knees hurt? Then what's the matter!" (For those of you who do not watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, that was from the episode "Doctor Daisy" where Daisy pretends to be a doctor and asks every "patient" those questions.) Then Ladybug piped up and said she wanted to be a doctor too and then started talking about animals. So, I asked her "Do you want to be an animal doctor?" and she replied "No, Mommy. I want to be a girl doctor!" I love how kids can be so literal sometimes!!

Anywho... let's hope for shin splint relief and a quick morning routine tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My glorious bike!

Today was a 40 minute bike ride and it was awesome! I love biking on my bike on the open road!! I think it has something to do with the need to remain vigilant at all times while riding... sneaky cars, people who don't know how to drive around bicyclists, etc. can be lurking around any corner. And this morning, they were. I stayed up late (well, for me - 10:30) waiting for Mr. Darcy to come home from his fraternity alumni meeting so I could see him for a few minutes and had a hard time getting up this morning. The girls also did not want to get out of bed this morning (and Mr. Darcy slept late too) so we were running behind. I had plenty of time before starting work after my ride, but it was a little stressful at first. (Angelfish was very sweet and told me "I no want to go to school. I want to stay home with you." Ladybug on the other hand was a banshee this morning and was angry with me because I picked her up and carried her to the car because she was stalling by playing with all of the light switches along the way to the front door and claimed that she "need to walk with Daddy" who was outside already and she had had a chance to walk with him. She was a bit rotten and smacked me in the face hard enough that it made me bump the back of my head on the inside of the car. She's a strong thing, but she also got disciplined for it. I had a message from Mr. Darcy's phone when I got back and it was Ladybug saying "I love you Mommy. I be nice and not be mean." That made me smile. Unfortunately, though, when I talked to Mr. Darcy he said that she was being terrible the entire way to school and then when he dropped her off she was still mad and gave him a hard time and spilled a cup of mile on him.)

But get on my bike and within a couple of minutes it all melts away (or perhaps it flies away on the breeze I make while biking...). Other than dodging cars, dealing with people who sit at the stop signs way to long because they're not sure what to do because I'm on a bike, and wondering if the dog the neighbor is walking likes to chase bikes, it is a peaceful co-existence between me, my bike and the road. And the other stuff makes you aware of your surroundings and lets you take the notion of being alive (and staying that way in some cases) all in. I have to say I am in love with it. I practiced my turning too, which is always fun and frightening for me. You have to lean in to the turn with your upper body and have the leg toward the inside of the turn in the up position, but you're not supposed to lean your head. Sometimes (like today) I try to take the turn quickly to practice a turn at a good speed and I lean in to the point that I am on the edge of the tire and I can feel it start to slip a little and it both thrills and chills me. But it's good for me to learn what is too far so I can attempt what I can without crashing.

And having to deal with the cars at the stop signs is good too... I've learned how slow I can go without having to dismount. I've gotten to the point that I can be at almost a complete stop, just barely moving forward without having to get off and then start up again. The one thing I need to learn how to do (and I think I probably can but I just am a little skittish about trying it) is to pedal while in a "standing" position. I am a bit resistant to the idea of not sitting on the bike seat while moving. It's fine if I have to stop at a stop light and I've unclipped my left foot to stand, but the idea of moving while my feet are clipped in and I'm pedaling is a bit unnerving. I'm hoping that we'll have a bike trainer who can teach me how to do it... the other thing I need to learn is when you use different gears for different things. I know when you come up to a hill you're supposed to down shift into an easier gear but what is appropriate staying in 3 but easier? Or switching to 2 altogether? And then when in the descent on the hill do you switch back? I have to admit that I just bike in 3rd and then 4 for the smaller gear... hills and all. And I know by the top of some of the hills why I need to downshift, but I've been telling myself that I made it to the top and it's good for training - which may be true but it's also because I know I'm not sure what to do.

Something also occurred to me on my ride this morning... I want to be a good rider and a good triathlete. There's something that gives you not only a sense of accomplishment but also a sense of something - control isn't the right word, but I'm not really sure what is the right word. It's like you have a sense of an idea (even if it isn't fully formulated) of what you want and that you have the capability of reaching out and grabbing it with both hands. For me, at least at the moment, it isn't necessarily about being better than someone else - right now it's about being better than I was before. I think that's why I like the biking so much, it's where I'm the most aware of that sense of self and taking myself from point A to point B, both literally and figuratively, and in some ways of allowing myself to leave point B behind. It's rather cathartic.

Well, enough "deep thoughts" for one day...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Benchmark Monday

For some reason, I'm in the mood for benchmarking my progress today. When I started this process, I was not terribly out of shape, but I wasn't in the greatest of shape either. I can honestly say that I am in better shape than I was, but I probably still have a bit to go until I would say I'm in really good shape.

But, physically, I can definitely say there is a difference. I am a dress size smaller, and have more overall muscle tone (although I still need some work... I may add some weight training back in when I start doing the training for May's triathlon). I am definitely faster and have better cardio strength and lung capacity too. And I don't have as many cravings for pizza, ice cream, and chocolate like I used to (although after the holidays I have some chocolate cravings but they are starting to subside a bit - especially since I keep disappointing them with no sugar added cocoa, other than this weekend...). I haven't had my cholesterol check yet, but I fully expect it to be lower. We'll find out more toward the end of the month when I have it done. When I started it was a scary 296, but in my defense I've always been a pretty healthy eater (I've completely cut out fast food, but still have pizza occasionally and the fast food wasn't all that frequent before) but I probably have the genetic issue my Dad and Grandma do where there is a chromosomal thing that actually causes them to produce more cholesterol than the average bear. But the doctor was pretty excited that I was starting to train for a triathlon and thought that would help the situation (let's hope so because if it doesn't get it low enough she's putting me on cholesterol medicine and the thought of that just makes me feel OLD).

Any who. On the running side of things, I can do 2 miles in 20 minutes (if I run the whole thing) which is 2 minutes faster than before. On the swimming side of things, I think I'm about 2 minutes faster on the 400 also (it might be 3 minutes faster but I didn't have my watch with me when I timed last weekend and was using the wall clock... but at the very least it was 2 minutes and 20 seconds faster than the last time I timed myself). And on the biking side of things, I biked 9.25 miles in 40 minutes on Saturday whereas when I started I was doing about 7 miles in 45 minutes. YAY me! This is not to say that I am super fast or that I am going to be turning pro any time soon (perhaps when I'm 50 I can go pro on the Master's circuit if I'm fast enough by then), but I am rather proud of myself and feel like I want to keep going and to keep getting faster and fitter.

So, keeping up my training is something that I'm all about. I've also noticed a shift in the way that I've been thinking about the triathlon. I'm no longer thinking about it as working out, but now I think of it as training for an event like an athlete. I also noticed my competitiveness coming out a little bit too. While I'm trying not to pressure myself and stick to the goal of finishing and not finishing last as my goal for my 1st sprint triathlon and for my 1st international triathlon, I also notice that I want to hit a certain time frame for my swim, for my bike and for my run for the sprint triathlon on February 1st. I also notice that I'm paying attention to form while I swim and run especially, and that I notice what other people's form looks like at the gym and pay attention to what they're doing wrong and what they're doing right. My brain is no longer - I need to go to the gym so I can lose weight and feel better, but it's a competitive brain. I've begun a return to the athlete brain I had back when I swam and ran competitively. I personally think that's a good thing - especially since I've been pretty able to control that competitiveness to mainly the events themselves during my life time. The Sleeping Tiger awakes! : )

Ok. I had to laugh at that last sentence there because this morning the sleeping tiger would have liked a little more sleep... Mr. Darcy and I stayed up late playing a video game (in our defense we wanted to stop at a reasonable time but the level wouldn't let us save the game until we had saved all 3 of the guys 1st) and then Angelfish woke up this morning at 4 am yelling for me because she had a wet pull up (yes, she's moved into the potty training realm as well and Ladybug has moved as of this week to underpants all day every day, other than night time... she's still having accidents but much fewer - knock on wood). She was so cute too... once I got in the room she sat up in her bed and said "Mommy, my pull up very wet. I need new one." Then once I got her changed and back into bed, Ladybug said in a very, very soft voice "Mommy I need new pull up too. This one very wet too." The second Ladybug was changed she climbed back into bed and was asleep rather quickly. Angelfish wanted to hold hands for a long while, but eventually I told her I needed to sleep in my bed and she didn't give too much of a fuss.

A cute story from yesterday. We went to the outlets so that we could get the girls some new shoes (they had a growth spurt recently and are now wearing an 8.5 (Ladybug) and an 8 (Angelfish) - the poor things were in 7's before but when they don't complain it's hard to know that their shoes don't fit anymore! I only figured it out because finally Ladybug was talking about her toenails alot this week and then Angelfish kept yanking her shoes off the second you put them on her.). Mr. Darcy's parents were with us and Mr. Darch's Mom went into the Coach store and as I was going to catch up with everyone, Ladybug and I saw the Gymboree outlet store and wandered inside - just for a minute (originally). There was a beautiful and extremely cute navy dress with red tulips on it and a red sash. I showed it to Ladybug and asked if she liked it. In response, she said "Ooh, Mommy. It pretty. Find my size!" We ended up buying it and another dress for Angelfish. My excuse is that 1) they like dresses and 2) we can use them for Easter too! (Yes, I realize that is still a couple months away... shhhh.)

Ok, and now for the training workouts from Saturday and today. Saturday, I did a 100 m swim warm up and then a 400 m swim, followed by 40 minutes on the bike (9.25 mile on level 4), and then a 20 minute run (which I alternated 3 min. run and 1 min. walk because my leg is still recovering), then a 10 minute walk to cool down. Then I stretched well and went wedding dress shopping with Lauren (her dress is gorgeous...) and her very sweet Mom, had lunch with them, went shopping at the Millenia Mall (I will be going back to see the side with the haute coutre stores like Louis Vitton and Jimmy Choo, but will not be buying from them I'd rather have a new bike!), and they introduced me to Haagen Das Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream. My favorite has been Mint Chocolate Chip for years, but that Peanut Butter Chocolate gave Mint Chocolate Chip a run for it's money. I think it's a tie! I did a bunch of walking, so I'm not sure if that counts or not... Sunday was my day off, but my father in law told me that I couldn't say that I didn't exercise on Sunday in my blog (Hi, Dad! I know you're reading!) because we ran around after the girls at the outlet mall. I still don't count it as training, but I guess it wasn't being sedentary either!

Today because we overslept, I didn't go into the gym so I skipped the swim portion of my training today but I did my interval run training in the park (didn't encounter any neighbors though). That was actually where I started thinking about my benchmarking because with the interval training, I do 7 minutes of alternating 1 minute of walking with 1 minute of running followed by 4-6 x of 20 second sprint and then walking back to the start and then a 5 minute cool down. Well, when I started that took the allotted 25 minutes. Today, I ended up having to do 8 20 second sprints (with the walking back to start) and then run for 1 minute 30 seconds afterwards before I got to time for the 5 minute cool down. And that started me thinking about all that I have accomplished physically in the past few months. Another thing that I've done is that as of Saturday, I've raised $1985 for Leukemia and Lymphoma... and I have not hit the shops and doctors offices yet (but it's coming, don't you worry!) and I haven't gotten the donation from my work yet (that the CFO told me I would get). I want to raise more than the $2600 required and my $3250 goal!

Tomorrow is a 30 minute "hill" bike, which because it's so flat around here will probably be a 45 minute bike ride. I can't wait to ride my bike since I've had to use the stationary bike last week since there were a lot of swim bike bricks in my training schedule. Let's hope the rain we're supposed to get tomorrow holds off until after my ride! Until then, dear readers! Until then!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Hittin' the Gym after a Gator Championship Win!

Well, to say the least, I didn't wake up early this morning to go for that bike ride. Nope... I lingered in bed until 6:30 am. Rather late for me, but after watching the Gators win the National Championship Game, I couldn't quite get moving earlier. It's GREAT TO BE A FLORIDA GATOR!

I may not have made it up early, but I did make it to the gym (in my Gator Championship t-shirt from 2007, might I add...). Since I was a bit behind on my morning, I only had time to do a 30 minute bike at level 5 (and level 3 heart rate) and then a 1/4 mile in the pool. It's a shame I didn't have more pool time today, though, because I was tearing it up! I love those swim days where you've just got good form, arm rotation and killer kicking. It actually gave me emotional pain to get out of the pool today - it was that good of a swim day. But, the good news is I swim again tomorrow so I'm looking forward to it. Of course, it will be a bit of a workout tomorrow morning... the set for tomorrow is 100m warm up, 1/4 mile swim, 40 minute bike, and 20 minute run. My shin splints are still lingering in my left leg, so I'm going to have to alternate a 3 minute run and 1 minute walk for the 20 minute run to try and take some pressure off of it, but I can do it.

Speaking of running, I have to say that I need to find a way to change my thought process about the running leg of the triathlon... because it really makes me nervous. For some reason, I have no worries about completing the swim and the bike, but it's that silly run. I know I have the physical wherewithal for it but my brain needs to get in the game. I'll have to start doing positive visualizations or something.

Anywho, right now I'm enjoying basking in the glow of a great swim (and a good bike even if it was on a stationary bike) and a great Gator win. (What's a Sooner anyhow?)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Swim and bike... my favorite combo!

After enduring another morning of Ladybug's grumpy awakenings and switching between which parent she tells to go away, and finally getting her happy and dressed I hit the gym. (Angelfish by the way is a good morning person... she woke up this morning and said "clock says time to get up!" - we have a clock that we've marked with the time to go to bed, nap time and wake up time in their room - and then gave me a big kiss, told me she didn't want to go pee on the potty this morning and wanted a pull up, got dressed and ate her breakfast all with a smile on her face and giving out kisses to her Mommy and Daddy. I'm a morning person too... we'll just leave it at that as to where Ladybug gets her morning wake up style from : ) )

Surprisingly there weren't as many new faces at the gym as I thought there would be... my other workouts have been in the neighborhood this week, so this is the first day in the gym for training. A few new people, but not a crowd. A new guy in the pool who swims loudly which means he needs to work on his stroke because he's not quite cutting through the water, but I digress. But other than that it was a normal day. I did the bike at the gym and may wake up early and bike in the neighborhood tomorrow. 30 minutes on a stationary bike is boring but it's fun on a regular bike. We'll just have to see if I can get out of bed early enough tomorrow. Tomorrow is a bike swim day (today was swim bike... not much of a difference but just where the focus should be on the 1st sport mentioned). I swam about 3/4 of a mile and did some stroke work during it. In 30 minutes on level 5 today I did just a smidge over 7 miles. I am definitely getting faster! YAY!

I'm also getting smaller... I put on a pair of pants that I haven't worn in a few weeks and they're a little big. YAY! Now, let's hope that when I take my cholesterol test toward the end of the month that those numbers are down too...

Anywho. Let's hope my quickness is inherent in the Gator Nation today because it's the BCS tonight! GOOOOO GATORS! FIRST AND TEN, FIRST AND TEN, GO GATORS GO!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wednesday is run day - at least today.

The neighbors probably think I'm nuts... either that or they think I've started a New Year's Resolution. Today was a 1/2 hour run and walk day and I did not want to deal with going to the gym (which would have been 1/2 an hour roundtrip at the very least) just to do 1/2 an hour on the treadmill. Not sure if that's lazy or just a wise choice of time, but either way, it is what it is. BUT, I'm still trying to finally get rid of that evil shin splint in my left leg that seems to be hanging on a bit still. So, I needed to run on something soft and spongy - like the grass in the park right up the street from the house. But this park is not a big park at all... it's not even quite the size of the grass part of the inside of a track. Just a spot of grass big enough for 9 holes of frisbee golf where the holes are 100' apart and then a little extra grass on the outsides. It's a place that you generally only see Mr. Darcy and I running the girls around to tire them out with the frisbee on a Saturday or people taking their dogs for the dog's daily constitutional. No one actually runs in it or picnics in it (although I rather like the idea of that one)... except me. I've done my interval training there a few times, and now... a 5 min walk warm up, a 20 minute run (well, I alternate 3 mins running and 1 min walking for 20 minutes to keep my legs happy), and a 5 min walk down. Every neighbor that brought their dog out said hello, but several looked at me like I was on mars... why is she running in circles around this little park in the grass? Everyone else who runs in the neighborhood runs on the road or on the sidewalk. Yes, it is true. I'm the Girl who Runs in Circles. But, admittedly, I liked it better than the treadmill because at least the scenery changed a little - sure I know exactly what color house I'll be at on that circle when I hit the 2 1/2 minute mark, but at least it's not the same picture or tv set that I see at the gym.

Anyway, tomorrow is a swim cycle day. So, I'll be at the gym and probably grousing about having to do my cycle training for the day on a stationary bike. I should be grateful that I can do it at all, but I must say I do love my bike even if I have been coveting the road bike that some guy in my neighborhood has been riding by my window each day around 1:20 pm. It's sleek, has great aerobars, thin tires, and looks really light weight as he zooms past. But, I'd rather put the money in the girls college fund or our retirement funds (or so I keep telling myself!).

Oh, and my Teams in Training trainer gave me a new exercise to do to stretch out my lower calves to help get rid of the pains I've been getting down near my achilles tendons. She says it will probably help with the shin splints too... yay!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Biking in the Mist

Today is an exceptionally foggy day. I've never been in weather where it really was more like going through a cloud than just being foggy. About 3 minutes into my bike ride today I realized that was exactly what it felt like. The last time I felt that was when I went through a cloud while skydiving... but that was a lot faster than this. Within just a few minutes, my bike and I were covered in water droplets. A rather cooling and slimy feel to it. But today was a 1/2 hour bike workout so I wasn't in it for super long.

In looking at my training schedule for the week, it appears that this is a week concentrating on the swim bike aspect of the triathlon. Lots of swim bike bricks. Which is great because those are my favorite 2 sports of the tri, but not so great because the pool in the neighborhood is still cold (we tried to go this past weekend with the girls - the highs were in the upper 70s/low 80s, but the lows were in the 50s - and the pool was too cold to swim in), which means I'll have to do the bike portion of the bricks at the gym on a stationary bike. And for as much as I love biking on my bike, I pretty much detest the stationary bike because, well, it doesn't go anywhere and the scenery stays the same. But, a girl's gotta do what a girls' gotta do!

On the Angelfish & Ladybug front, Angelfish has entered the terrible twos, but her version consists primarily of just not listening to you and doing what she wants anyway. Ladybug had a great day yesterday with potty training but today refused to wear underpants. Ladybug has been listening very well lately and really adhering to the discipline rules that we set up for the house and have posted in the breakfast nook. Angelfish has her moments and did really well with sitting nicely in her chair this morning (which was much better than Ladybug... she never made it to the breakfast table and had to have her breakfast in the car on the way to school because it took her 40 minutes to get going - that's longer than I take!). Other than that it is officially back to the grind.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday, it is!

Today is definitely a Monday. Not just any Monday but the Monday return to work after a long weekend off for the New Year. And despite waking with an upset stomach (most likely due to the junk food I ate at Disney yesterday, which to my shame includes fried chicken nuggets and french fries - I told Mr. Darcy to surprise me with lunch while I saved us a table... not the smartest move on my part - ice cream and yes, even a funnel cake), I didn't let it keep me down. I didn't go to the gym though (I figure it's probably stuff full of extra people today anyway), but instead I did the interval training that I would have done on the treadmill in the park just up the street from our house (nice, spongy grass) and added another 20 minute walk onto it to try to make up a little bit for not swimming at the gym in addition to the interval training. Perhaps if the morning goes well tomorrow, I'll get the pool in then.

I kind of like interval training. I did 7 minutes alternating 1 minute run and 1 minute walk and then 6 sets of a 20 second sprint and then walking back to where I started the sprint. It's kind of nice to see how far I've come from the last time I did these intervals. I may not be a lot smaller yet in size (although I've dropped one size), but I am definitely in better shape than I was!

Yesterday we had a lot of fun at Disney. We went with the girls and our friend Bryan who was visiting. The girls had fun with Mr. Bryan who is 6'5" and a rather muscular 280. So, as you can tell he is a big guy. On the tea cups, he spun them so fast with just one hand that poor Ladybug(who has the beginnings of a headcold coming on I think) did not want to ride them again. Angelfish on the other hand LOVED it. In fact, she wanted to ride them again and go faster. So they did, except Ladybug and I played while the boys and Angelfish went on the ride. At one point, Bryan thought that Angelfish was crying and took one of his hands off the wheel and Angelfish grabbed his hand and put it back on... it turned out she was laughing and screaming in glee. Later in the day she asked if she and Mr. Bryan could "ride cups and go faster." : ) Ladybug liked watching the fire works with Mr. Bryan - he was nice and tall so she had a great view. We all had a good time and got a bit of sun... of course, since we stayed for the fireworks, that made getting up this morning all the harder.

But tomorrow is Tuesday so it will be a little easier and a little closer to the National Championship Game! And as the girls said when they saw the alligators at Sea World this past Friday "Go Gators!"

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Catching up...

Sorry for the failure to post the past few days... I got a short lived (thank goodness) stomach virus that started later in the morning on Tuesday. So, Wednesday I did not work out but slept alot. Thursday, after chasing two 2 year old streakers around the house and finally getting them dressed, I went for a walk/run with Ladybug. (Angelfish and Daddy started with us too but Amanda was grumpy and they ended up heading back, even though Angelfish wanted to run with Mommy originally.). It wasn't super intensive on the way to the park, but little Ladybug helped with some interval training by running and then getting distracted and stopping and then running some more, then a little walking and then Mommy carrying her (she's 30 pounds so I'm calling it resistance training) the rest of the way to the park (it's about 1 mile away from the house) where we "raced" each other and then ran the bases on the baseball diamond. She is adorable when she runs - when she's thinking about running she does this thing with her arms where she holds them bent at her sides and swings them wildly left to right, but when she is just running without thinking about it, she has pretty good form! For some reason she didn't want to play on the playground when we got to the park, but when we were done racing on the soccer field and done running the bases, she said, "Mommy, I tired and want juice. Please go home now?" and two steps later asked "Mommy please pick me up." So the last mile of the workout (Mommy walking briskly while carrying Ladybug) gave me a good sweat! Ladybug had been intent on running with Mommy that morning, and I have to say it was a lot of fun!

Friday I did a 40 minute bike ride and then we took the girls to Sea World and had a good time (until the tiredness set in for the girls) riding rides, seeing the animals and watching Shamu and the dolphin shows again. Both Angelfish and Ladybug are obsessed with the idea of riding a roller coaster. We tried to get them onto the kiddie roller coaster, but they had to be 38" tall and they're both at 36" right now. (So, the good news is that Angelfish had a growth spurt and caught up to Ladybug... we'll see how long that lasts.)

Saturday I did another tri-brick. I did a 3/4 mile swim, a 40 minute bike at heart rate level 3, and a 10 minute run. To cool down I did a 10 minute walk and lots of stretching afterward. It was great! I tore up the pool that day to the point that another swimmer told me I was really tearing it up... I talked to her a few moments while putting on my shoes for the run and she had done 2 triathlons herself. Pretty cool! Although, I have to say I hate doing these tri-bricks at the gym, but the pool is too cold right now to attempt it in the neighborhood and it's a lot easier on my legs to train on the treadmill. Usually when I'm on my bike, 40 minutes is over and I think to myself - already? Biking on the stationary bike is boring because I don't get to see anything! But, I did 9 miles on level 5 and at a level 3 heart rate, so I can't complain all together. The 10 minute run was really a 4 minute run, 2 minute walk, 4 minute run but only because of my shin splints which were REALLY not happy with me this past week after last weekend's 10 minute run at the end of the tri-brick. I'm starting to wonder if my shin splint issues are really because of the fact that I naturally suffer from really tight hamstrings. I don't know if physiologically the two can be related but I have noticed that when I'm running, especially as part of a brick, that the pain I get while running isn't in my shin but in the calf muscle down by where my hamstring hits my ankle area at the back, and then the pain shift to my shin afterwards. It's a mystery, but I'm having fun while trying to figure all this out.

I'm not sure if I mentioned that Mr. Darcy bought me a book Women and Triathlons for Christmas. It's a good book, but rather technical for a beginner like me. I'm glad it wasn't the first training book I read (I highly recommend Your First Triathlon by Joe Friel) because I think I would have been scared off. But, it has some good tips, history, and information for training. I think I may get a heart rate monitor because it explained about training based on heart rate and (again while technical) made a lot of sense to me on how you can really improve by training at different heart rate intensities and I've been trying that when I'm on the gym cardio machines and I notice what the author means when she says sometimes it's surprising when you're in say heart rate level 3 because you don't necessarily feel like you are. And of course, since Christmas I think people in my neighborhood have gotten some bikes from Santa because I keep noticing people I haven't seen while biking on these great road bikes that look brand new. Maybe if I'm really good this year I'll get one from Santa next year... although probably not since they are not an inexpensive item and it's not like you can get a trade in on your old model like you do with cars. A girl can always dream of a lighter bike that you can put aerobars and have a more aerodynamic form and allow for more power in your pedal!

Today, is Sunday and I have shifted my training schedule so that Sundays are my days off from training instead of Mondays... that way I am home with the munchkins when they wake up on at least one of the weekend mornings. Our friend Bryan is visiting and we are taking he and the munchkins to Disney. I think Mr. Darcy may be just as excited as the girls are about it because now he'll have someone to ride the rollercoasters with while I watch the munchkins! It should be a good time!